Echoing his comments in June, Warren Buffett is complaining about tax rates as being too low. The relevant question is: has he done anything about it or is he just being a hypocrite, again?
Let?¢‚Ç¨‚Ñ¢s see what Buffett has actually done instead of said: Buffett is giving away is fortune (http://money.cnn.com/2006/06/25/magazines/fortune/charity1.fortune/). Good for him, great choice, it is nice that he has the right and freedom to do as he sees fit with the money he has earned. Too bad Buffett doesn’t think that others should have that same freedom.
What precisely is Buffett doing? He is giving his fortune to tax-exempt foundations. So, if you REALLY want to pay more taxes, Warren, why do this? Why take the steps that he is taking to avoid ALL taxes on the money you are giving away? Oh that’s right, higher taxes are only for those poor schmoes who don’t have millions to spend on attorneys and tax exempt foundations.
Everyone ELSE should act as Warren Buffett, “the hypocrite of Omaha,” thinks they should act while Buffett avoids taking his own advice. And he expects his “advice” to be enforced at the point of the government’s gun and jail. You should be force to pay more taxes because Buffett thinks it is the right thing ?¢‚Ç¨‚Äú even though Warren Buffett will take big steps to avoid doing so himself.
Perhaps it is coincidence, perhaps not, but let’s recall one method Warren Buffett used to get rich – estate sales. Not in the “estate sale in the front garden” type, but the one caused by the estate taxes Warren Buffett so dearly loves for everyone except him. “What?” you say. Well, Buffett has been great at buying companies at low valuations. Valuations that are often caused by the necessity to raise money to pay estate taxes quickly – ask Warren Buffett about the events leading up to his purchase of Dairy Queen and the Buffalo News. Owners died, 55% (or more at various times) of the value of their holdings in the company are due with 9 months of the date of death. Here comes Warrent Buffett to the rescue, the hero, willing to buy a stake in the company at a big discount. A going-out-of-business sale on a founder’s life, ripe to be taken advantage of by Buffett. Need insurance on your life in order to have some way to pay the estate taxes? GEICO is a great place to buy it from. Oh, does Warren Buffett’s company have something to do with GEICO?
So, no wonder Warren Buffett wants to keep the estate tax and keep everyone -except him of course, he knows better that you do- paying high tax rates: all the better to rake everyone else over the coals when people are in dire straits. This is a typical move: instead of letting people have the freedom to decide to do something, he’ll require everyone else to lose the freedom, while he avails himself of it.
Kind of nice that the so-called ?¢‚Ç¨?ìOracle of Omaha?¢‚Ç¨‚Ñ¢s?¢‚Ç¨¬ù new name is the ?¢‚Ç¨?ìHypocrite of Omaha.?¢‚Ç¨¬ù Warren, our advice is stick to investing, leave the control of other people’s lives to them. It is called freedom. Just because you don’t value your freedom, doesn’t mean the rest of us want you to take it away.